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  #1  
Old 02-22-2009
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Suprising Response trying to find electronics guy in Ft. Lauderdale

We need help installing our new Sirius Weather for our Raymarine unit and also installing our yet-to-be-ordered new charger/inverter (Only West seems to have the Xantrex Freedom 25 in stock and for a ridiculous price). We got a recommendation for a facility in Ft. Lauderdale to help us with the install and gave them a call. They told me that they couldn't help - they only install products they sell. I was suprised that in today's boating economy anyone would turn down a gimme - services have a much higher profit margin too!
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Old 02-22-2009
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Business must be good? Seems strange but I've been surprised by the lack of interest in some work I need to have done too. What recession?
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Old 02-22-2009
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I was in Lauderdale on my boat last week. I met a guy with a van and a couple of workers who install electronics. He seemed like a good guy, I didn't use his service but we talked boats awhile. I have his card at home I think.
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Old 02-22-2009
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I use "marine" guys as seldom as possible. There is a bigger proportion of incompetent prima donnas who can't master a schedule in this field than in any other. I greatly favour using "industrial" guys like welders and truck rebuilders who are open to the very few special considerations boating brings.

Having said that fairly bitter obsevation, there are some real pros out there who've saved me time and money, but it seems I have to consult three or four sphincter-brains until I source one of those.
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Old 02-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Business must be good? Seems strange but I've been surprised by the lack of interest in some work I need to have done too. What recession?
I was up in Boston on Friday to visit my son, a collage student . While my wife and daughter went shopping, I went over to the Boat show and talking to some of the equipment vender's, They all claim to be doing pretty good and have gotten a good number of orders. You would never know there was a recession going on. Maybe people are fixing what they have?
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Old 02-22-2009
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Here in the Bay Area, I have heard brokers, dealers and mechanics singing the blues. Business is waaay off. But those are all big-ticket guys. As a hull cleaner (and definite small-ticket guy ), I can say other than a couple of my brokerage accounts scaling back on their regular hull cleaning regimens, it's business as usual.
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Old 02-22-2009
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I remember when I was a college kid working for a plumber as his helper in the summer. Every morning we would go to the local dinner for coffee before we got started for the day.

One morning the dinner owner came over to the table and told the guy who owned tire shop in town, who way sitting with us. I a got a special on 4 shock absorbers and my car really needs them. When can you put them on?

The owner of the tire shop said I will get back to you.

Then next day the the tire shop owner was there and when asked for his order he asked for a glass of milk and a bowl. The dinner owner came over and said what the hell is this. The tire shop owner said. I got my own corn flakes and he did!!
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Last edited by bubb2; 02-22-2009 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 02-22-2009
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A friend of mine who does canvas work here on HHI says his business is off 60%.
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Old 02-22-2009
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Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
I remember when I was a college kid working for a plumber as his helper in the summer. Every morning we would go to the local dinner for coffee before we got started for the day.

One morning the dinner owner came over to the table and told the guy who owned tire shop in town, who way sitting with us. I a got a special on 4 shock absorbers and my car really needs them. When can you put them on?

The owner of the tire shop said I will get back to you.

Then next day the the tire shop owner was there and when asked for his order he asked for a glass of milk and a bowl. The dinner owner came over and said what the hell is this. The tire shop owner said. I got my own corn flakes and he did!!


How many times have I told clients I won't install customer-supplied zincs? I ask them, "Would you take your car to a mechanic for a tune-up and ask him to install the spark plugs you found at Wal-Mart for cheap?"
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Old 02-22-2009
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Bubb's story resonates.

Many people are so proud of the deal they got on their, say, boat electronics. They hire you to put them in. You didn't sell the gear so that profit went elsewhere and you're working for less than you might doing the same job, with the same overhead to pay. If your employee slits his wrist open working on that boat you still have to fix him up. The profit form the electronics sale might have allowed you to carry insurance on him but you're competing in a very competitive market where people buy their stuff online and all you can get are jobs to install them.

Of course, once you install those electronics you didn't sell and there is the slightest problem with them, you find that now you "own" them. You touched 'em last are expected to deal with the manufacturer and stand behind the customer. Of course, the customer is sure that the gear he bought is appropriate for his boat and of the same high quality that you would have sold him. You might have your doubts. Nevertheless, you've now got possibly uncompensated time to spend on a job that you didn't make the proper margin on to begin with.

The only top flight stereo shop in my town just went out of business after forty years serving the area. They couldn't compete with online and the big chains. I was always willing to pay a little more for the comfort of dealing with someone who'd be there to stand behind the product. Others were apparently not so willing.

I'm sure you'll find someone to do an adequate job but, it's something to think about next time you purchase something. Don't blame the small businessman who has to make a profit to exist. He's probably seen the results of such practices before. In times like these, the cut-rate guys fall by the wayside because they don't have the reserves to weather the economic storm. That's why they're not there when you call two years later with a problem.

I know that you're transient and might not have thought of any of this, as well as had limited options; it's not meant to be personal. But it's a subject area I deal with every day.
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